Port-of-Spain: India captain Virat Kohli said it was his turn to step up and take up the responsibility in the second ODI against West Indies here after the early dismissals of his openers.
After the early departures of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, Kohli scored a brilliant 120 off 125 balls to help India post 279 for seven after opting to bat. “We knew that anything over 270 would be challenging. It feels good to get a hundred when the team wanted me to get one,” Kohli said after India beat West Indies by 59 runs via D/L method to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Sunday.
“Shikhar and Rohit didn’t get a big one. One of the top three has always got the big one. A senior man had to step up and today was my opportunity to step up. It was important to string in a lot of dot balls,” he added. Kohli said it was a good toss to win as the wicket became difficult later on. “Good outing with the bat. Exactly why we wanted to bat first. If you saw the later half of the West Indies innings, it was difficult to bat on. I think the rain in between helped them else it would have been tough to bat in the middle,” he said.
“The batting became a little easy thanks to the rain when (Shimron) Hetymer and (Nicholas) Pooran were batting together. It was tough gripping the ball when it went into the outfield. It was about staying in there and hoping one wicket will put pressure on them and luckily we got the wickets.” Kohli said the number of left-handers in West Indies team prompted him to play Kuldeep Yadav in place of Yuzvendra Chahal.
“The number of left-handers work in favour of Kuldeep and that’s why we went in with him rather than Chahal. He is more lethal against the left-handers because of his variations and the lines that he bowls to them,” he said. “Kedar (Jadhav) was precise as well. With the number of left-handers, you want to go with a chinaman bowler rather than a leggie. With Jadeja playing, it helps our balance.” The skipper lauded Shreyas Iyer, who made a crucial 71 on Sunday.
“He (Iyer) is a very confident guy and has the right attitude. Really got the tempo going and took the pressure of me. After I got out, he got the extra runs as well,” Kohli said. West Indies captain Jason Holder said losing the last six wickets for just 62 runs cost his side the match. West Indies were comfortably placed at 148 for four after the 27th over before they kept losing wickets in quick succession to be bundled out for 210 in 42nd over.
“Extremely disappointing. We bowled really well and the game was in our hands. We lost crucial wickets at the back end to lose the game. We need to take responsibility. We need to take the game deep. The pitch was pretty good and the bowlers despite the humid conditions did well. The batters have to take the responsibility. They have been letting us down far too often,” Holder said.